The Nox Chronicles, Book 1

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    There’s a picture for you.


    Portland, Maine

    Nox, as he enjoyed calling himself, sat in a chair with his feet perched on a wooden table and mused. He sank deep into his thoughts, leaning back as the television lying on the counter blared CNN.

    He thought about himself.

    Years ago, a woman named Mystique had come across a man in Cologne, Germany, Heinrich Martel, and seduced him after a night of drinking. He had heard of Mystique, heard about how vile she was, but he didn’t despise her enough to disown his own existence.

    He had sheltered himself away as a youth. He felt different, but he didn’t feel special; even nowadays, as he figured he was just another of Mystique’s list of offspring, merely one of many. He hadn’t succumbed emotionally, but it felt strange with his large, leathery ears, his waxy blue skin, his bright, penetrating yellow irises which crept up on him when he looked in a mirror, his rough three-fingered hands and two-toed feet, and his large, extruding tail.

    A tail. He observed himself to be an animal.

    He didn’t know why he fought. Perhaps he took after his brethren, Nightcrawler and Abyss to name the headiest of the troop; his costume he had pieced together, his peak physical, mental, and spiritual state he had honed in an over 10-year period, yet the feeling he received when somebody stared at him, inspected him, made him feel like a monster that he was.

    Many people would argue that, though. He had grown a reputation as a vigilante, and had remedied that sickening aura of ugliness by wearing a mask that concealed his face, let alone his eyes, which shone like highbeams and thoroughly shook the people he encountered. That was why, on most occasions, the most that people ever saw of him was a cloud of crimson smoke that slowly dissipated and dissolved into nothing.

    Nothing. Gladly for him, that was something he wasn’t.

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